UK Holiday: first stop Edinburgh

If only I could recall the numerous times I’ve ran from my arriving plane to my departing connection, I’d have a good idea of how many calories I’ve burned, to shave them off my cardio routine. From La Guardia to Philly to Edinburgh Scotland, I made it just in time for coffee and a quick walk around town.

Armed with a bus map and a scan of old town Edinburgh, I was determined to muscle thru the day to adjust to the 5 hour time change. My friend Rhian lives in Leith, which is in sight distance of Edinburgh castle. She tells me that the 12 bus goes ‘to town’ on one side of Leith Walk and ‘from town’, on the other side. The only challenge now was remembering to look right then left. I find myself already stepping off curbs into oncoming traffic; oh, tourists.

We stopped for lunch at a beautiful Catalonian restaurant called Tapa, and feasted on fresh seafood and cheeses, and a magnificent table buffet of veggies. Continue reading

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NYC and the U.K. Next week is gonna be packed….in a carry-on

I took a month long break from blogging to work the Essence Festival in New Orleans and to take another vacation to Vegas. I can confidently report that it hasn’t changed a bit since my last visit (2 months ago). I get asked frequently “why Vegas?” See the thing is, I don’t drink, I rarely gamble, and I’m not a shop-a-holic (at least not a mega-shop-a-holic). In my previous posts  Vegas is Calling, I shared some my favorite restaurants, how-to party with the party people, and things to-do on the cheap, but for me truly, the best part about a Vegas vacay is the fact that you can be, do, and see just about everything you ever wanted and/or may not have ever wanted to see, etc. My advice still stands for the invite of all invites: follow Dave Verzosa on Instagram and Twitter. I have to give a huge shout-out to Drew Mamary, as well. Each day he sends out a text for invites to pool parties (ladies!!) and even sent me a text to let me know where to have the cab drop us off for the Tiesto pool party at MGM Wet Republic. Follow Drew by clicking on his name above. Continue reading

El Paso: No Slouch in the Dining Game

I’ve traveled to El Paso a couple times in the past year, but (unbeknownst to me) my constant hotel hopping between here and Las Cruces was keeping me from my new favorite restaurant row–Mesa St. While maintaining a healthful menu from breakfast to dinner I tend to grocery shop and “dine-in” when visiting cities saturated with Tex-Mex. I’ve had no qualms about consuming large amounts of chips and queso in my previous life, considering I grew up in Texas, but I now prefer a more fibrous fare. So since I’m traveling with one of my colleagues this week, it was only natural that we would debrief our days over a nightly dinner meeting. What we found has now reaffirmed my confidence in El Paso’s vegetarian friendliness. Here’s just a couple of the places you should stop into. Brunch, Lunch or Dinner!


The Hoppy Monk

The Hoppy Monk

Thankfully we had just missed the brunch crowd at The Hoppy Monk on Sunday afternoon. I only say that because we were absolutely starving, and being able to secure a table–quickly–was of utmost importance. Eric helped us out with our food queries and we ordered the Tofu Wings to start, and for the main, the Veggie Monk Burger.

Patio seating available

Patio seating available

 

I had no idea a Black Bean and Pumpkin patty, drizzled with aioli would bring such joy to my life, but it did accomplish such a feat!

I had no idea a Black Bean and Pumpkin patty, drizzled with aioli would bring such joy to my life, but it did accomplish such a feat!

The Sunday crowd had slowly thinned out and the dining experience was perfectly pleasant for this hopping Gastropub. Mark another check next to “Favvy-faves in El Paso”.


Ruli’s International Kitchen is just a couple blocks down Mesa St. from The Monk, and just as impressive when it comes to “nom de porn”. The menu reflects the name of the joint perfectly. Its so hard to choose when you have such an enormous amount of veggie and pescatarian fare. Bravo, Ruli, for proving you are truly an International representative of food with the unique mix of American, Mediterranean and Moroccan. I couldn’t settle on just one dish so I had to try a little of each.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Tapas, Goat Cheese (a heaping serving of it) with fruit and cashews, and the Moroccan Salad

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Tapas, Goat Cheese (a heaping serving of it) with fruit and cashews, and the Moroccan Salad


Although we only had a few days to tour the food scene in El Paso we received many other recommendations for a few more dining destinations. But undoubtedly, these two rank pretty high for atmosphere and selection. Mesa St. (Westside) is definitely the place to find a wide variety of eats when visiting this bustling border town.

 

Social Media Tips for Travel – Articles | Travel + Leisure

I’m on the road (again) seeking out the hottest tips and apps to help maximize my–and your–travel experience. Here’s sneak peek from T&L on scoring theater tickets….

“Not sure where to look for last-minute theater tickets? Try tweeting@HyattConcierge. A round-the-clock team of nearly three dozen employees monitors the handle and sends requests to staffers on site, keeping guests updated while they wait. The average response time? 42 minutes.”

Social Media Tips for Travel – Articles | Travel + Leisure.